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Hundreds of Paddington bears left for Queen to go to charity

LONDON — More than 1,000 Paddington bears and other stuffed animals left behind as tributes to the late Queen Elizabeth II in London and Windsor will be donated to a children’s charity, Buckingham Palace said Saturday.

Mourners left thousands of tributes, including flowers and teddy bears, outside Buckingham Palace and in royal parks in London and outside Windsor Castle in an outpouring of grief after the UK’s longest reigning monarch died on September 8 at the age of 96.

The Queen became associated with the Paddington bear, another British national treasure, after the two appeared together in a short comedic video earlier this year during the platinum anniversary celebrations to mark the monarch’s 70th anniversary. In the video, in which the Queen drank afternoon tea with a computer-animated Paddington bear, she told the bear that she shared his love for marmalade sandwiches – and that she liked to hide them in her purse “for later”.

Buckingham Palace and the Royal Parks said on Saturday that the hundreds of bears left behind as a tribute to the Queen will be professionally cleaned before being delivered to Barnado’s, a children’s charity.

Elizabeth was a patron of the charity for over 30 years and in 2016 she passed the patronage to Camilla, wife of King Charles III and now known as the Queen Consort.

“We are honored to be able to give a home to the hugs people have left in her memory,” said Lynn Perry, chief executive of Barnardo’s. “We promise to care for these bears, who will be loved and bring joy to the children we support.”

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